Removing US sanctions on Iran legal, moral obligation’

ANKARA (AA) – Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif urged the US administration on Monday to lift current sanctions against Iran which were imposed under former US President Donald Trump.

In response to a recent statement by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken regarding US sanctions on Iran, Zarif said on Twitter: “Lifting Trump’s sanctions, is a legal and moral obligation. NOT negotiating leverage.”

“Didn’t work for Trump – won’t work for you”, Zarif said.

Zarif called on authorities to release Iran’s billions of dollars taken hostage abroad because of Washington’s “bullying.”

Speaking in ABC News’ This Week With George Stephanopoulos, Blinken said on Sunday that the lifting of US sanctions on Iran depends on Tehran’s compliance with its nuclear commitments toward Washington.

“Iran, I think, knows what it needs to do to come back into compliance on the nuclear side, and what we haven’t yet seen is whether Iran is ready and willing to make a decision to do what it has to do. That’s the test and we don’t yet have an answer,” Blinken said.

In the past several weeks, Iran and other signatories to the JCPOA have been engaged in marathon negotiations in the Austrian capital Vienna to revive the 2015 deal.

After the fourth round of talks last week, Iran’s top negotiator Abbas Araghchi expressed the hope for a successful outcome of talks, saying the parties have specified the structure and annexes of the text agreement.

Enrique Moura, an EU official, also acknowledged “good progress” in talks and said an agreement is being worked out.

Former US President Donald Trump unilaterally left the agreement in 2018 and reimposed sweeping US sanctions it agreed to lift under the deal and imposed new ones in the hopes that the penalties would bring Iran back to negotiations for what Trump hoped would be a “better” deal.

Iran resisted the ex-president’s efforts and instead stepped away from the nuclear restrictions it agreed to under the accord as regional tensions between the US and the Islamic Republic soared.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known commonly as the Iran nuclear deal, is an agreement on the Iranian nuclear program reached in Vienna on July 14, 2015 between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States – plus Germany) together with the European Union.

Source: Anadolu Agency